Thinkpad "piscles"

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About two weeks ago a green 1 pixel wide line about two inches tall appeared in the bottom right corner of my Thinkpad screen. I called warranty service today, and it looks like I’ll be without the computer for 4-7 business days while they repair it. That means I’ll need to back everything up, remove confidential information, and set up my usage environment on another computer for a week or two.

It doesn’t make me feel any better than the tech support guy I spoke to at IBM had never heard of a pixel before. He asked what it was and then kept referring to them as “piscles.”

July 30, 2004 5:12 PM

You're lucky. Some companies out there won't give you warranty service if you don't have at least 7 of those malicious pixels first, saying its normal. Sheesh!

Adam Kalsey
July 30, 2004 5:50 PM

A 2 inch high line contains approximately 200 pixels, depending upon the screen in question. All LCD manufacturers consider a certain number of dead pixels normal, but they differ in how the determine what is normal. Some say you need to have a certain number of dead pixels in a 1 inch square area. Some say that 8 or more bad spots on an entire screen warrants replacement. LCD manufacturers point out that your average notebook screen is made up of 2.3 million transistors, so having one or two go bad is a pretty low number, percentage wise. Many people have a bad transistor or two and never even notice it. It's only when they are grouped together or in the center of the screen that they are noticed. And certain colors, like green are more noticible than others (red for instance).

July 30, 2004 7:55 PM

I can't speak for display issues, but I've had to deal with IBM ThinkPad support on several occassions through work. Each time they rush-delivered (next day) replacement parts, allowing reasonable time to return defective ones. All in all, I've been very happy with them.

Adam Kalsey
July 30, 2004 9:08 PM

Oh, don't misunderstand. I've very happy with them too. This is my third or fourth Thinkpad in the last 5-6 years. When I received this Thinkpad, the AC adapter had a rough spot on the cord. I called about it and IBM replaced it. I called up the support center again to ask if there was a local service center I could take the laptop to. This time I talked to a much more competent tech. He told me that any local service center would have to send the laptop back to IBM for something as complex as a screen replacement. He also said that while 4-7 business days is a standard response for warranty repair, I'll likely have the laptop back in three days. I plan on sending it in right before I go in for my knee surgery. Then I'll have it back when I come out of it.

Pieter Claerhout
July 31, 2004 3:41 AM

We use Dell laptops at work, and their service is excellent. A colleague of mine had a similar problem with his screen, and the next day, the Dell engineer came onsite to replace the screen.

August 1, 2004 5:44 PM

"piscles"? LOL. ..damn, and here I am in NYC having one hell of a hard time trying to find any job, and IBM hire tech support 'gurus' who don't know what pixels are ..fark me.. :/

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